The Lady Tigers had to deal with some injury adversity on Tuesday, but they couldn’t be stopped with Hillsboro in town.
Glen Rose (17-6, 2-0) won the second half 39-5 on the way to a 69-23 victory. Unfortunately, point guard Reilly Junge left the game with a sprained ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
“I didn’t think we were playing with any emotion at first, and then when Reilly went out we lost our defensive intensity,” said coach Sheree Hill. “We have to play ball no matter what and be mentally tough. I was much more pleased with our effort in the second half.”
As one might expect, the Lady Tigers put up some strong stats, led by Kayla Goebel (18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 steals, 3 blocks). Other top scorers were Destiny Ponce (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals), Shelby Rotan (8 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) and Kelsey Potter (7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals).
“It’s really important to start out 2-0 in district because you get that momentum going,” Rotan said. “We were expected to win this one and we had to.”
Other scorers were Madi Gibson (6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals), Kate Goen (6 points, 2 rebounds, steal, block), Ashlan Bernard (5 points, 3 rebounds, assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks), Madison Morrow (5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) and Junge (3 points, rebound, assist, steal).
In a first quarter Glen Rose won 17-12, the Lady Tigers shot very well in the opening minutes to lead 15-7 when Junge was injured. Rotan, Goebel and Junge all nailed threes in the early going.
“I’ve really been working on my shot lately, so it felt good to get back in the groove of things,” Rotan said.
Hillsboro won the rest of the first 5-2.
“We started off well offensively, but didn’t finish the first well at the other end,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers took the second quarter 13-6, as Goen and Goebel both blocked shots. Gibson got going with a midrange jumper and a putback, while Hillsboro managed to make a layup at the halftime buzzer.
“Madi did a good job with her post defense,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers really turned it up in a third quarter they won 21-3.
“We got our press going for some steals and our intensity picked up,” Hill said.
Goebel took over immediately with a wing three and then Rotan assisted her on a completed and-one play.
“My teammates did a good job of scoring on the assists I got,” Rotan said. “With Reilly out, we all needed to try to get assists and step up our points.”
The Lady Tigers were very effective at scoring on the fast break after getting steals, as Potter and Ponce demonstrated in the quarter when they were assisted. A Gibson layup off another Rotan assist completed a 12-0 run.
“I’ve been pretty tough on Shelby, but we needed her to step up and I thought she had a very good second half,” Hill said.
Late in the third, Potter assisted Morrow on a three, Morrow assisted Rotan on a three and then Rotan found Morrow for a layup.
“Madison’s confidence is growing and she shot the ball well,” Rotan said.
The coach also credited the sophomore.
“Madison looked good (Tuesday),” Hill said. “She cut loose out there and played. I was very pleased with her effort.”
Early in the fourth, Glen Rose continued to feed off of steals, as Goebel assisted Bernard and Goen in transition.
“This team can finish on the fast break and we need everybody chipping in there,” Hill said.
Bernard and Goebel each blocked two shots in the fourth.
“It’s great to see Ashlan get blocks,” Hill said, considering blocks are relatively common in Goebel’s game. “She’s so quick that she’s going after the ball on the way up (before they jump). She has some similar talents to Reilly, as far as quick feet and quick hands. When their shooters hesitated, we capitalized on it.”
Rotan also credited her fellow small teammate.
“It’s really cool because Ashlan isn’t very tall and she got the block without getting called for a foul,” Rotan said.
Goen scored two more times in the paint in the fourth, while Goebel drained her third three of the game in the final minutes.
“Kate was playing confident,” Hill said.
The Lady Tigers will have their paws full on Friday when they travel for a 6:30 p.m. game against Stephenville, the No. 9 team in the TABC 3A rankings.
“It’s going to take all of us playing fundamental basketball to get the job done,” Rotan said.
Hill wants to see her team put its best game on the floor.
“We can’t play scared; we have to get after it and shoot the ball well,” she said.